By Hannah Whale

Finding Connection through Helping Others and Public Service

Alumni Mentor, Hanna Stewart, and recent graduate and mentee, Rema Al Nader, share their mentorship journey

Your job can consume a significant part of your life. Rema Al Nader, a recent Carleton graduate, always had a desire to help others, particularly in the areas of improving workers’ rights and optimizing the Canadian workplace. Al Nader began pursuing a career goal of working in the public service to improve the lives of others. Through the Alumni Mentors program, she was connected with an equally passionate mentor and was able to achieve many of her personal and professional goals.

Al Nader’s strong writing skills and interest in public relations led her to pursue a Bachelor of Communication and Media Studies with a minor in political science at Carleton University. At the beginning of her final year, Al Nader began to explore suitable graduate programs following her undergraduate degree. As she began the application process for master’s programs, Al Nader began to research available support. In particular, Al Nader wanted to connect with someone who had experience applying to master’s programs and working in the public service.

Alumni Mentor Hannah Stewart pictured

Hanna Stewart, Alumni Mentor

Al Nader was carefully matched with mentor Hanna Stewart. Stewart holds two degrees from Carleton University: a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Canadian Studies and a Master of Arts in Sociology. While the pair had different degrees, Al Nader and Stewart quickly discovered many similarities. Stewart shares Al Nader’s passion for helping others—a passion that led her to and guides her in her position as a Policy, Research, and Data Management Officer at the Department of Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada. This workplace knowledge and career experience was an invaluable asset to Al Nader.

“I wanted to learn if my career goal was right for me. Sometimes we can glorify our goals, so learning about working in the public service through first-hand experience was really impactful,” reflected Al Nader.

Another similarity the pair found was a joy in goal-setting, which was practiced throughout their mentorship experience. The duo set themes for their monthly meetings such as researching master’s programs and preparing for job interviews. This structure provided Al Nader with accountability, ensuring that she was continuing on track to achieve each of her goals. This process strengthened Al Nader’s own goal-setting skills and increased her confidence in her abilities.

This was Al Nader and Stewarts’ first year participating in the Alumni Mentors program. While both were unsure what to expect, they found the Alumni Mentors community to be a strong network of support. The professional development workshops and events, facilitated by Carleton alumni on topics from time management skills to enhancing your LinkedIn profile, were especially helpful for this pair to become acquainted with the community.

“I really appreciated all the virtual events we had. I especially liked the mentor-only events where we huddled together with other mentors to discuss how we could best support the program. The workshops were also great because we could go with our mentees to learn together and connect with other mentoring pairs,” shared Stewart.

Through Al Nader’s determination and the support of her alumni mentor, she was able to achieve all of her goals for the year. Al Nader is currently working as an Information Management Broker at Employment and Social Development Canada and will be beginning a Master’s degree in Industrial Relations degree at Queen’s University in the fall.

Pictured is mentee Rema Al Nader

Rema Al Nader, Mentee

“I would tell my peers to definitely sign-up for this program. It was such a rewarding experience and there were no losses from joining. I am hoping to sign-up again to be a mentee this year. Hopefully, in the future, I will also be able to give back as a mentor,” Al Nader commented.

Tuesday, August 24, 2021 in
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